APT gives us a hopping 'Flea'

Posted June 30, 2017

By Aaron Conklin, Madison Magazine Arts & Culture

June 28, 2017

There’s a moment in the second act of American Players Theatre’s production of “A Flea in Her Ear” in which Marcus Truschinksi, clad only in boxer shorts and socks, is running for his life through the lobby of the seedy Hotel Venus, chased by a jealous Spaniard with a pistol. As he dashes across the stage, he turns to the audience and shouts.

“What a farce! What a farce!"

Well, he’s sure not wrong about that.

Playwright Georges Feydeau stacked the deck of his 1907 comedy with every joker and wild card in Paris (and, to riff on one of the play’s running jokes, the northern part of France). His play mines laughs from a running list of things that includes, but is not limited to: mistaken identity, ridiculous foreign accents, Three Stooges-style violence, drunkenness, a character whose high-pitched lisp is all but unintelligible and Truschinski’s caddish character getting punched in the face no less than five times.

And most of that’s in the first act.

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